In ancient Persia, saffron (Crocus sativus, a plant of Asian origin) was used externally as an anti-wrinkle treatment and to treat acne and burns. It was also used to create highlights in blonde hair, while our grandmothers rubbed it on their children’s teeth to soothe teething pain. But this plant has not yet ceased to amaze us. The most recent studies, in fact, attribute mood-stimulant properties to saffron. Its virtues are concentrated in the bright red-orange stigmas, the filaments in the centre of the corolla which, in powder form, are normally used in cooking to give flavour and colour to dishes. A good reason to prepare excellent “yellow”-based pasta and rice dishes!